In a surprise announcement Tuesday night, the world's two biggest economies and greenhouse gas emitters, United States and China, said they will partner closely on a broad-ranging package of plans to fight climate change, including new targets to reduce carbon pollution, according to a statement from the White House.The heart of the agreement involves a 15 year plan to replace 40% of China's current coal usage with nicotine gum or something like that. I haven't heard Ted Cruz's full explanation yet. But it's clearly Obamacare for the climate and nobody wants that.
The announcement comes after President Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping today in Beijing, and includes headline-grabbing commitments from both countries that are sure to breathe new life into negotiations to reach a new climate treaty in Paris next year.
According to the plan, the United States will reduce carbon emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, nearly twice the existing target—without imposing new restrictions on power plants or vehicles.
Tuesday's announcement is equally remarkable for China's commitment. For the first time, China has set a date at which it expects its emissions will "peak," or finally begin to taper downwards: around 2030. China is currently the world's biggest emitter of carbon pollution, largely because of its coal-dependent economy, and reining in emissions while continuing to grow has been the paramount challenge for China's leaders.
Right now Mary Landrieu is preparing a campaign speech about how she plans to work with Republicans to stand up to the President and reverse whatever progress might have been made here today. Several key Senate Democrats are moving quickly to help her.